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Students are struggling to make ends meet

With an average annual budget of under £6,000, a significant 57% of students are struggling to make ends meet. Almost one in five students (17%) go so far as to say that they do not have enough money to meet monthly outgoings, according to the latest research from Lloyds TSB. At the same time over half of students (51%) undertook paid work during the last academic year.  

The Lloyds TSB Student Finance Report indicates that on average students have an annual income of under £6,000 a year[1], a half of which is derived from student loans[1]. Students in Scotland survive with the lowest incomes, whilst those in London and Wales are in receipt of 4% above this average.
 
With limited incomes it is unsurprising that so many students are struggling financially. A separate study shows that 40% are just meeting monthly outgoings, whilst almost a fifth of full time students do not have enough to cover all their essential spending each month. With money as tight as it is, the majority of students (56%) say that last year they sacrificed going out or spending on non essential items to help make ends meet. More than one in three (37%) say that they raided their savings to help get by, but almost a third (32%) admit to approaching friends or family for financial help to get through the month.
 
At the same time, over half of all students are turning to paid work to supplement their income. 51% of students have had a job within the last academic year, and of those nearly half of them said that they were working mainly to support themselves through university and help make ends meet.
 
Paid work accounts for almost a quarter of students’ income, with the average student earning just under £8 an hour, and the majority (79%) working less than 15 hours a week during term time. However, well over a third (37%) of students continuing their course believes they will be working more in the coming year.
 
All the extra work is impacting on students’ study, with nearly a quarter of working students (24%) with term time jobs believing it is negatively impacting their education.
 
Tight budgets are driving students towards work, however the worry of taking on large amounts of debt also play on students’ minds. Over half (51%) of all respondents are concerned about the levels of debt they are taking on whilst at university, and a small number (6%) chose to have a job to try and avoid taking on unnecessary debt.
 
Jatin Patel, Director of Personal Current Accounts at Lloyds TSB, says:
 
"Going to university is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience, but students today not only have the worry of taking on a large debt burden, but the rising cost of living means many are also struggling to make ends meet whilst they are still studying.
 
"Paid work can be a huge benefit to students as it can give them valuable experience for later on in life; however, it should not be impacting their studies. With finances so tight students need to ensure they are making use of all the discounts and money management tools available to them to help them manage their finances.”
 
The Lloyds TSB Student Account offers students a number of tools to help them stay on top of their finances including mobile banking with text alerts, Internet Banking and the new Money Manager tool, which is an online service that provides students with the ability to view spending patterns and track financial activity.